Unwigged and Unplugged

This past Saturday night, we saw Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer performing at the Chicago Theatre in their Unwigged and Unplugged show. These are the guys who are also known as Spinal Tap and The Folksmen, as featured in the movies This is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind, respectively.
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that Spinal Tap managed to make the leap from a completely fictional band to a piece of the culture that everyone pretends is real, sort of like the guy in the red suit with the reindeer. There are all sorts of band histories, discographies, and reviews on the internet that rival the sites for legitimate rock bands. Even the Wikipedia page I linked above indicates that there seems to be no line drawn between reality and whatever Tap is.
The show was great. The three guys came out as themselves and essentially performed as a tribute band. Lines like “Nigel Tufnel wrote this” were part of a common theme. We got to hear all the classics from the movies played acoustically, and while performing the singers were in character.
The songs were interspersed with video clips from the band and a great YouTube clip featuring Tap’s “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” performed by Lego people. And at one point, Michael McKean’s wife Annette O’Toole came out to sing a duet on their Oscar-nominated song from A Mighty Wind, “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow.” (Here’s a clip from the movie with Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy performing the song.)
The audience seemed to be in on every single joke, but it wasn’t like you needed a footnote reference to understand them (see Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). The show was entertaining all on its own.
The Sunday night performance in Milwaukee was recorded for a DVD release, so if you missed the show, watch for it.